Asperger Syndrome and me.

 

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I’m only planning to do this once. I am finally at the end of the road of all my doubts about my neurology. Yesterday I was given a diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome by Dr Judith Gould of the Lorna Wing Centre. For those who don’t know, Dr Gould worked with Lorna Wing to develop the concept of autistic spectrum and is a lead expert in diagnosing autism in women and girls.

It was life affirming and delightful. Dr Gould is an incredible human being and I wish there could be endless multiple Judith Gould’s peopling schools and colleges and work places across the world, but she is of course unique. I feel extraordinarily lucky.

Many people have written about the moment of diagnosis, and so I feel I don’t need to. I don’t want to risk falling into cliches and make my own experience as flat as the screen I’m writing on. I want it to stay alive in my mind. The details of this encounter are private, though I wish to be public about my neurological status.

The point is that autism can be disguised or “masked” over a lifetime, as some autistic people learn to socialise and do it incredibly well. I’ve seen this termed “passing”, and the mechanisms by which we learn to do this are, in my experience, entirely unconscious. Frankly, up until most recently I had no idea that I was passing for a neurotypical person – I thought I was one.

I thought I was a neurotypcial person who was a lover and brilliant observer of people, but a bad friend because I’ve needed so much solitude and recovery time from social contact.

But I am not a bad friend, which is hugely relieving. I love my friends and am endlessly fascinated by people. Friends who’ve been disappointed over the years – if I’ve seemed distant or endlessly unavailable – this is why. It’s incredibly hard for me to stay connected, and those who’ve stuck with me are loved without measure – I know that more often than not you’ve had to keep things going.

And I would add that it is indeed possible to love people in so many ways, and to keep them in mind, as present as if they were with you, even when you haven’t seen one another for many years.

Now that I am formally diagnosed I will be working again to raise consciousness and acceptance for autism. It’s simply another way of being human. I have no idea what form this will take, probably just being me, fully and at long last.

 

 

Published by soniaboue

I am an artist.

16 thoughts on “Asperger Syndrome and me.

  1. Surely, surely there must be a genetic link to this. As you know, I’ve decided (at the moment anyway) not to look for adult diagnosis, but so much of what you say resonates. We are brain dancers.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Through the female line? Also on my Spanish side! Apropos brain dancers – I forgot to say your brilliant description has been picked up by Autism Family Support Oxford as the title for an exhibition celebrating autistic creativity. I hope you don’t mind! I brought it up in a brainstorming session and it ran!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I have feeling there is double dose (at least) on our side as well. Like minded brain dancers calling to each other without really knowing why.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Congratulations! I admit I envy you that clarity and confirmation. I cannot wait to see what comes next – I shall enjoy ‘following’ your ongoing work to raise autism consciousness (I love that word). Have a great weekend xxxx

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I learned two years ago at age 52 that I am autistic/Aspergers. It was so freeing to find out at last why I have often felt like such an oddball and misfit. I was privileged to hear Temple Grandin last May and one thing she said that really stayed with me, was “We can grow and evolve.” Wishing you all the best.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Love this! And so familiar to me, though I have never sought a diagnosis, just read and written a lot…and looked at family members.

    Also, Coz’s use of the term “brain dancers” is so lovely and feels just right 🙂

    Thanks! A good way to start my day.

    Liked by 2 people

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